11 October, 2018

Opel to drop models as it focuses on SUVs and popular models

Opel is to cut three models from its range as it looks to focus on the high-growth SUV segment and high-volume models.

The carmaker, which was bought by PSA Group in August last year, is undergoing reorganisation as it looks to return to profit, following years of losses under its General Motors ownership. By focusing on key business areas such as these, it hopes to help this cause.

The models to be dropped include the customisable Adam and the Karl, known as the Viva in the UK under the Vauxhall branding, as well as the Cascada convertible model. These will see out their current production runs, which are scheduled to end in 2019. Dropping the models will reduce complexity,  improve efficiency and help the automaker meet tougher CO2 emissions limits, Opel said in a statement.

Cutting the models will also help the company to achieve CO2 compliance with current and future targets set by the EU.

‘In a context of drastic CO2 norms, it’s our responsibility to shape a sustainable future for our company and our dealers with a highly competitive portfolio for passenger and light commercial vehicles. Opel will offer fun to drive and emotionally designed models including highly competitive light commercial vehicles such as the new Combo and Vivaro. The customers will benefit from the broad introduction of innovative technologies and affordable electrification,’ said Opel CEO Michael Lohscheller. ‘The most recent awards – like the IVOTY 2019 for our Combo – demonstrate that we are on the right path.’

From early 2019 to the end of 2020, the company will launch eight all-new or refreshed models. The company says that in 2019 alone, it will launch the new generation of the bestselling Corsa and the successor to the successful Vivaro as LCV and passenger car variants. Additional variants and equipment versions of the Combo will also be on sale, thus significantly renewing the LCV portfolio. The successor to the popular Opel Mokka X will follow in 2020 and will play a pivotal role for the strategy to expand the proportion of the company’s SUV sales from 25% to 40% by 2021.

The company has also promised electric vehicles (EVs) as part of its PACE! turnaround plan and 2019 will see the beginnings of this. Order books for both the all-electric new five-seater Corsa and the Grandland X PHEV which will be produced in Eisenach will be open by the summer of 2019. By the end of 2020, Opel will have a total of four electrified models on offer, and by 2024, there will be an electrified version of every Opel model.

The German manufacturer is leveraging PSA Group platforms and propulsion technologies for all new models. The manufacturer is also fully ready for the new Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard and offers 127 passenger car models that meet the requirements which will come into effect for all new registrations in September 2019.

‘Our commitment to Euro 6d-TEMP is part of our strategy to become a leader in the reduction of vehicle emissions and a key pillar of our customer-centric approach. Whoever buys a new Opel now must not fear a city driving ban from today’s perspective,’ said Lohscheller.